I’m often cautious about making election forecasts, but when it comes to the Green Party, I’m unusually confident about my predictions.
Firstly, the Green Party of England and Wales (particularly in England) will achieve better results than it has ever done in a General Election. The Greens are likely to hold Brighton Pavilion. Even if they gain no other seats, they will come second in a fair few. Their percentage of the national vote will be higher than ever before. They are, to be honest, starting from a pretty low point. Given their rise in the last year or so, it would take a heavy setback for them not to achieve their best result.
Secondly, the Green Party will not do as well as the hype has suggested. From the way that some talk, you’d think the Greens were expecting to storm into Parliament with a whole gang of MPs. In reality, even the most optimistic Greens do not expect the party to win more than three seats at the very most.
Thirdly, much of the media will focus on the second point and not the first. Headlines saying “Greens fail to live up to the hype” and “Disappointment for Greens” are pretty likely, as the right-wing press overlooks the reality that the party has achieved its best ever result.
Given the media’s obsession with personalities, and the tendency to equate leaders with parties, some will then go on to write stories along the lines of “Bennet’s leadership questioned as Greens lick their wounds”. So let’s remember: read the figures, not the headlines.